Additional GradeMark features


Introducing GradeMark as part of DMU’s TurnItIn subscription enabled anonymous marking of assignments submitted through TurnItIn. However, the addition of GradeMark also brings a number of other features such as marking online and the use of rubrics that DMU staff can now take advantage of.

Marking online with GradeMark

The main added functionality is the ability to mark assignments online, within the web browser, that have been submitted through TurnItIn. The process of setting up the TurnItIn submission link and steps that students follow to submit are same as described here.

There are three main ways in which staff can mark assignments online using GradeMark as follows.

Important! Backup and Download Marked Assignments using GradeMark in Turnitin


Adding text comments to the submission

GradeMark enables the teaching staff member electronically annotate the submission with comments. When students view the annotated submission either via the TurnItIn submission link or My Grades in Blackboard, the comments appear. To electronically annotate a submission, follow the steps below.

Open the assignment inbox via the Blackboard Control Panel and open the submission that is to be marked

Note – the default view is now the ‘GradeMark’ view rather than the ‘Originality’ view

In the right hand side, there is a toolbox, to begin typing a comment click the ‘Comment’ button GradeMark comment button
A new box will appear on the submission, type the feedback comment into the box GradeMark comment box

You will notice that there is a link within the comment box titled ‘Save as new QuickMark’. QuickMarks will be covered later in this guide

Click the ‘Save’ button

Once saved, the comment is represented by a blue speech bubble. It can be edited and dragged around the submission to ensure that it is placed on the relevant part of the assignment

When students view their feedback the comment will open when the student clicks on it

GradeMark comment on a submission

Multiple comments can be placed on the submission by repeating these steps and once finished the submission can be closed

Note – there is no ‘Save’ or ‘Submit’ button within the GradeMark screen. Comments and such are saved as they are generated

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Using QuickMarks

QuickMarks are predetermined, frequently used comments that can be dragged onto the submission to provide quick, generic feedback to the student. GradeMark arrives with a number of QuickMarks built in but staff can save their own comments as a QuickMark as comments are added to a submission. To add QuickMarks to an assignment:

Open the assignment inbox via the Blackboard Control Panel and open the submission that is to be marked

Note – the default view is now the ‘GradeMark’ view rather than the ‘Originality’ view

In the toolbox that appears to the right of the screen there is a set of blue icons (below the ‘Comment’ button) that represent the QuickMarks that are available The default QuickMark set
The default set of QuickMarks is the ‘Commonly Used’ set, to see other sets of QuickMarks, click the ‘Change QuickMark set’ button and select from the drop down Selecting a different QuickMark set

To add a QuickMark to the submission, drag the desired QuickMark from the right hand side to the relevant place on the assignment

The QuickMark will be represented by a blue annotation and standard text, explaining what the QuickMark means. This is displayed to both staff and student

A QuickMark

Multiple QuickMarks can be placed on the submission by repeating these steps and once finished the submission can be closed

Note – there is no ‘Save’ or ‘Submit’ button within the GradeMark screen. QuickMarks and such are saved as they are generated.

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Adding audio feedback

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GradeMark enables the ability to record one audio feedback file, up to three minutes in length, within the browser. The audio file will be available to the student via a link that appears on their submission once the assignment is marked and and available for students to view. Provided the student has speakers or a headset and an appropriate audio plugin they will be able to hear the feedback that you have recorded. Using this functionality overcomes many of the barriers related to compatibility, storage and dissemination when recording audio files on a local computer for sending to students.

To take advantage of this functionality you will be required to use either an in-built computer microphone or a USB microphone and you must be aware of the risks associated with storing multimedia content in the cloud with regard to data protection, backups and intellectual property as outlined in the OER section here.

Open the assignment inbox via the Blackboard Control Panel and open the submission that is to be marked

Note – the default view is now the ‘GradeMark’ view rather than the ‘Originality’ view

Toward the bottom right of the screen will be a small toolbar, click on the ‘View/edit a general comment for this entire paper’ button Accessing the audio recorder
A new section will appear at the top of the right hand toolbox, click the ‘Record a voice comment up to 3 minutes long’ button to start the voice recorder Starting the audio recorder
The voice recorder tool will change colour and the recording will begin, once finished click the ‘Stop’ button The voice recorder view whilst recording

Even though the recording is stopped, it need to be saved into the assignment before students can listen to it

Click the ‘Save recording’ button

Save recording button
The recording is now saved and the audio recorder will now display a ‘Play’ button and a Delete button. To listen back to the recording, click the Play button, to delete and re-record, click the delete button and the steps above Listening to and deleting the recording
Note – whilst in this view, the ‘Text comment’ box that appears below the audio recorder can be used to add an overall text comment of up to 5000 characters to the submission too

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GradeMark also introduces the ability to add a rubric to the assignment that is to be submitted through TurnItIn. This stands alone from the overall rubric that may be applied to the overall assessment but the rubric tool can be very useful when weighting sections within an assignment.

The steps required to add a rubric whilst setting up the TurnItIn assignment link is covered here.

tipA helpful two-part video case study on the use of a Turnitin Grading Form for assessment feedback can be found here.
A video guide to the use of a Turnitin Rubric can be found here.

Although the rubric is initially set up with the submission link, using the GradeMark tool when marking enables staff members to see the rubric and use the rubric tool to quickly allocate marks to the sections, against criteria, as defined when the rubric was set up.

From within the GradeMark window, click on the ‘View/edit rubric scorecard for this paper’ button. Staff are not able to edit a rubric that is attached to a live assignment submission but are able to remove and add rubrics from this view

Note: It is not good practice to remove and add different rubrics whilst marking

View/edit rubric scorecard
The right hand pane will show the rubric that was set up as the assignment submission link was created The rubric pane
It is now possible to import rubrics from MS Excel. The rubric can be imported from the ‘Launch Rubric/Form Manager‘ link available when you set up a Turnitin assignment or if you’re in the Grademark view you can select the import/export from the rubric scorecord view.



Turnitin advise that the Excel file must follow these rules:

  • The file must be a .xls or .xlsx file
  • Only one rubric can be uploaded per Excel file  
  • The rubric in the spreadsheet must have the scales of the rubric as its first row
  • The rubric in the spreadsheet must have the criteria of the rubric as its first column
  • If included, criteria descriptions should be in the same cells as the criteria titles separated by a line break
  • Descriptors for the body of the rubric can be included
  • Criteria titles must be 13 characters or less
  • Grading formulas will not be imported with the Excel file
  • Numerical values cannot be imported.  If you would like to use numerical values, add them to the rubric after import using the rubric/form manager.

An example template for constructing your rubric in Excel is available from the import rubric screen.

PLEASE NOTE:The rubric will not have any scoring values when you first import it.  You may add scoring using the rubric/form manager:

The rubric type can be changed using the “RUBRIC SCORING” buttons at the bottom center of the rubric/form manager. Use the “%” button for standard rubrics (with scale values as points and criteria values as percentages). The “pen-and-notepad” button is for custom rubrics where each cell inside the rubric gets a value. Leave the rubric scoring setting as “0” for qualitative or non-scoring rubrics.





Click to Enlarge

By clicking on the buttons, marks can quikly be allocated to each section as stipulated in the rubric Adding marks using the buttons
To open the full rubric functionality, click the ‘Use full size rubric in a new window’ button The Use full size rubric in a new window button
The full rubric window will appear and using this window, marks can be allocated The full rubric window

Once the marks are allocated, click the ‘Apply rubric percentage to grade’ button

The changes made are saved automatically and applied to the students grade

The Apply rubric percentage to grade button

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How to backup and download marked assignments using GradeMark in Turnitin

It is possible to download and save student assignment submissions that you have marked using GradeMark. This can be done in the Blackboard course where you have created the Turnitin assignments.

Blackboard courses in our Blackboard system are archived every two years and are then available in the Blackboard Archive system. It’s important to note here that Turnitin assignments created in these Blackboard courses that are moved to the Blackboard Archive System lose their links to Turnitin therefore student submissions and marked assignments won’t be retrieveable. Therefore the process for backup and downloading outlined below can overcome this issue.

Note that students too are advised to download their own copy of their marked assignment.

This process outlined can be done as a bulk download for all your marked assignments OR for individual assignments.

Please also note that the process outlined will just download the ‘marked’ paper and will not contain the originality report; however if you wish to at some point to view the originality report for a particular student submission, you can make a note of the paper ID which can be found on each student submission (marked paper) and raise a ITMS helpdesk call who will assist you in obtaining the originality paper working with Turnitin.

Steps to download marked papers using Grademark

1. In the Blackboard course where the Turntin assignment is created and all submissions have been marked in GradeMark go to the Control Panel and select Turnitin Assignments

2. Select the Turnitin Assignment that you wish to download from.

3. In this Assignbox Inbox View if you want to download ALL submissions select the top checkbox before the ‘Author Column’


If you want to download an individual or several individual submissions, select the checkbox next to the submission(s)


4. On selecting this checkbox the following message appears


5. Select the Download button, and select ‘Grademark paper‘.


Note selecting original file will allow you to download student original assignment submissions.

The following message appears


6. Select OK to continue with the process. Once the zipped file is ready it will be available to download fom the messages tab. The messages tab is at the to right of the screen.


7. In the Messages screen you should see the Bulk download ready for you to save, select the message link (in blue)  to view the full message.


8. The following message will appear


9. Select the link in the message which begins ‘’

10. Save the file where appropriate